While Democrats nationwide are overjoyed to hear the news of President Trump being impeached, others are left wondering very vital questions; what does this mean? Will we be getting a new president? Will Trump face jail time? For those of us that are less politically savvy, we see impeachment as merely a means of ridding the White House of an incompent commander-in-chief. Be that as it may, the process is much more complex than that and doesn’t exactly spell out a total presidential removal. Here are the steps to impeaching a president.
Now, if a simple majority of the present and voting in the House approve an article of impeachment, then the president is impeached. The procedure usually progresses to the Senate. From there, a trial is conducted to determine if the president did indeed commit a crime. Members of the House will then serve as “managers” in the Senate trial, which is similar to the role of a prosecutor in a criminal trial, while the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is the “judge,” presiding over the trial. As in any other trial, Senators deliberate after listening to all the evidence presented, including closing arguments from all sides.
Once Senators complete deliberations, they vote on whether the president is guilty or not guilty of the crimes he is accused of, in Trump’s case, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to convict a president. However, If the president is indeed found guilty, he is promptly removed from office and the vice president is sworn-in as president.
There have only been two prior impeachment trials held twice in the country’s history, one for President Andrew Johnson, as a result of political conflict and the second for President Bill Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice as a result of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by Paula Jones. Both trials ended in acquittals, which is what experts are expecting to happen during the Trump trial. That would mean Trump remaining in office for the time being.